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Chief's Choice (also known as Open) is a recurring challenge that debuted in Survivor: Samoa and has since re-appeared in Survivor: Ghost Island.


This challenge is used in conjunction with the Tribe Leader twist. The Tribe Leaders must pick members of their tribe whom they feel best match given descriptions for different legs of the challenge. The first tribe to solve their puzzle wins.

In Ghost Island, an additional twist saw the Tribe Leaders have the option of forfeiting during the puzzle-solving portion in exchange for getting to keep their fishing kit, though the opposing tribe would then get 20 eggs and flint in addition to the reward.


The challenge debuted in Samoa where Chiefs Russell Swan of Galu and Mick Trimming of Foa Foa were tasked to select the best swimmer, strongest, most agile, and smartest for their tribe. Russell S. picked John Fincher as the best swimmer, Erik Cardona as the strongest, Yasmin Giles as the most agile, and Shambo Waters as the smartest for Galu, while Mick chose Jaison Robinson as the best swimmer, Russell Hantz as the strongest, Marisa Calihan as the most agile, and Liz Kim as the smartest for Foa Foa. Foa Foa took an early lead during the swimming portion after Jaison outswam John. Although Shambo nearly caught up during the puzzle, Liz managed to solve it first, winning Foa Foa reward.

In Ghost Island, Tribe Leaders Brendan Shapiro of Malolo and Chris Noble of Naviti were made to choose members of their tribe to do the physical and puzzle portions of the challenge. Brendan chose Michael Yerger for the physical portion and Laurel Johnson for the puzzle for Malolo, while Chris chose Sebastian Noel for the physical portion and Desiree Afuye for the puzzle for Naviti. In addition, the Tribe Leaders were given the option of forfeiting during the puzzle portion in exchange for getting to keep their fishing kit, though the opposing tribe would then get 20 eggs and flint along with the reward. Although Naviti were first to the puzzle portion, Chris decided to forfeit as the sand timer was about to run out, giving the reward to Malolo.


Episode Challenge Type Winner
"The Puppet Master"
Tribal Reward S19 ashley t.pngS19 ben t.pngS19 betsy t.png
S19 jaison t.pngS19 liz t.pngS19 marisa t.pngS19 mick t.png
S19 mike t.pngS19 natalie t.pngS19 russellh t.png
Foa Foa
Ghost Island
"Can You Reverse the Curse?"
Tribal Reward S36 brendan t.pngS36 donathan t.pngS36 gonzalez t.png
S36 jacob t.pngS36 james t.pngS36 jenna t.pngS36 laurel t.png
S36 libby t.pngS36 michael t.pngS36 stephanie t.png



  • In both its appearances, this challenge was used as the opening Reward Challenge of a twenty-person season.


Recurring Challenges
A Bit Dinghy · A Bit Tipsy · A Crate Idea · A Leg Up · A Numbers Game · Air Raid · Angry Chair · Around the Bend · Back in Slack · Balancing Point · Ballin' A Jack · Barrel Bridge · Barrel of Monkeys · Basket Brawl · Better Homes and Island Living · Beyond the Wheel · Blind Leading the Blind · Blue Lagoon Bustle · Blue Plate Special · Boats, Brains & Brawn · Bone to Pick · Boulder Smash · Bow Diddley · Box Your Mind · Braille Maze · Broken China · Buggin' Out · Build It Up, Break It Down · Butch Cassidy · By Any Means Necessary · By the Numbers · Can't Buoy Me Love · Cannonball Run · Caught in the Web · Cell Block Sea · Challenge Pitch · Chief's Choice · Chimney Sweep · Chinese Zodiac Symbols · Choose Your Weapon · Coconut Juice · Crate Escape · Crocodile Rock · Crosswalk · Cube Crisis · Dear Liza · Dive Masters · Domino Effect · Draggin' the Dragon · Dragging the River · Drop A Log · Dulcimer Stomp · End of the Line · Fallen Comrades · Fast Fire · Faulty Towers · Fauxconut Bowling · Fire and Water · Fire Fighter · Float Your Boat · Floating Puzzle · Game of Bridge · Gatecrasher · Get a Grip · Get Barreled · Get Hooked · Get Your Goat · Gimme Three Steps · Great Escape Run · Hands on a Hard Idol · Hear About It Ladder · Hot Pursuit · House of Cards · House of the Holey · Idol Hands · Jail Break · Jump Shot · Jungle Love · Jungle Relay · Kamikaze · Keel Hauling · Keep It Up · Keep on Your Toes · Kenny Log-Ins · Kicking and Screaming · Kitty Litter · Know Your Loved One · Ladder Tree Golf · Last Gasp · Letter Hunt · Lock, Load and Light · Lock Step · Log Jam · Losing Face · Mask Match · Matchmaker · Matt Finish · Memory · Mud Pack · Mud Slide · Muddy Waters · New School · New Tribe Member · Nut Bucket · O-Black Water · Odd Shaped Bottoms · Operation Balance Build · Out on a Limb · Over-Extended · Paddle Battle · Paddle Out · Perch · Pilfering Pirates · Piranha Feast · Pole Dancing · Pot Head · Push Me, Pull You · Puzzle Dig · Pyramid Scheme · Q and A · Quest for Fire · Race to Shore · Ram-Ball On · Rescue Mission · Rice Race · Rise and Shrine · Rock Bottom · Rock n' Roll · Rod Screw-It · Roll With It · Roller Ball · Running Down a Dream · · Sacrificial Lamb · Schmergen Brawl · Sea Crates · Sea Legs · Sea Salvage · Shipwrecked · Shoot 'n' Shuffle · Shooting Gallery · Shoulder the Load · Simmotion · Slip, Slide & Score · Slither Me Timbers · Smash and Grab · Snag, Drag and Bag · Snake in the Grass · Snake Island Relay · SOS Signal · Spear-it Hunt · Spit It Out · Splash Back · Sprung A Leak · Squared Off · Squatty Probst · Stacked Up · Stairway to Heaven · Stairway to the Stars · Star Man · Station By Station · Step on Up · Stomp-ede · Strung Out · Sumo at Sea · Survivor Auction · Survivor History · Survivor Pentathlon · Survivor Quiz Show · Swahili Scramble · Swing Break · Temple Transfer · The Ball Drop · The Cruel Sea · The Game is Afoot · The Gauntlet · The Home Stretch · The Maze · The Obstacle Course · This Much · Thrash, Splash & Bash · TLP O-Course · Tomb Raider · Troubled Water · Uncomfortably Numb · United We Stand · Vampire Bats · Vertically Challenged · Vertigo · Wall to Wall · Well Stacked · What-er Drag · When It Rains, It Pours · Wicker Flicker · Will It Go Round · Witch Hunt · Wrist Assured · Yank Your Hank · You Shook Me